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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day Two - not bad

I walked down to the meeting place at Jackson Brewery for the ghost tour at 5:30. It turns out the group was of about 25 folks or so. The woman who was the tour guide said we were the biggest group they'd had since August.

She was dressed normally, not in a hood and cape or anything weird, but was in all black. I'm glad I brought water with me!

For the next hour and a half we walked through the French Quarter, stopping off at spots that are supposed to be haunted. What was different about this tour was that the guide had friends who had actually experienced the hauntings, not just stories that have been floating around (pun intended). Plus she threw in historial bits as needed.

I liked this much better than wandering around by myself. I learned quite a bit, enjoyed the sites and took photos, which I will upload when I get home. I don't have my graphics software on this laptop, or I'd be putting photos up now.

On the walk back to the hotel, there was a commotion in the street. A police car with lights flashing was moving slowing down the street. Behind it was a man all in white with a white umbrella, pumping the umbrella up and down. Behind him came a group of people, including musicians and some dressed in Mardi Gras outfits. I got a couple of good photos.

Another woman who was taking photos began walking with me. Turns out she and her husband have a timeshare and she was just doing the tourist thing. I told her about the ghost tour and we wondered what the mini parade was for. Maybe it was just for the fun of it!

I was exhausted, hot and tired when I got back to the hotel, but hungry, too. I sat in the bar downstairs and ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri because I wanted something cold and slushy. I ordered some blackened Gulf shrimp to eat. Only three lousy shrimp. Pfft. But they were good.

I read my magazine for a bit, then headed upstairs to crash.

In the morning, I got up, hit the fitness center, grabbed some food at the continental breakfast, went to my room, ate.

A Baton Rouge TV station had wanted to interview me Friday morning, but since I'd be flying out then, the reporter emailed me:

"Our show's host, Matt Kennedy, is also a host for a radio show in town and he said tomorrow morning at 9:30 would be the only time he'd be able to tape your segment ahead of time."

Now, wouldn't you read that as it would be a telephone interview? I certainly did. So I waited by the phone this morning and the reporter called to see where I was. Um, I'm in my hotel room. She said they were waiting for me. Really? And just how did she expect me to get there? Flap my arms? I told her I had no car and expected a telephone interview based on her last email to me.

She was flustered and apologized and said they couldn't do it. But this guy does a radio show? Hello?

Never mind. I bet she's blonde.

So I showered, dressed and headed back down to do some souvenir shopping and eat lunch. Lunch was much better - club sandwich with fries and too much food this time!

I went to set up my laptop for my presentation and everything went smoothly. The room wasn't quite as full as yesterday, but a good crowd and many promised to show up for the book signing tonight. I hope they do.

I went back to my room and Jhon from Montclair called. He was upset - his boss had made reservations at a "fancy" restaurant for 6:30 pm. Um, my book signing is at 7 pm. He said he knew and his boss thought my signing was last night. I won't say I'm not disappointed. I am. I was counting on sharing a cab to the bookstore and at least having two other people with me that I knew. Now I have to go alone. I am not happy.

So, I'm off to Barnes & Noble to get there by 6:30. I hope someone shows up for the signing. The bookstore manager said she ordered 50 copies. I'll be totally embarassed if no one shows up. And now I have no one to hang out with after the signing. I was really hoping to see the French Quarter "in action" tonight.

Oh well.

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